Ramadan (or Ramazan as we call it in India) is the most auspicious month for the Muslims all over the world. While this is a blessed month and every Muslim follows Ramadan quite sincerely, it sure rings the bells of concern for the people who are into fitness and bodybuilding. However, with a little bit of planning, you can get the most out of your routines even during Ramadan. Over here, we will suggest a few ways in which you can adjust your workout and diet plan in Ramadan.
During fasting (Roza), you refrain from consuming any food and fluid during the fasting window which could be anywhere between 6 hours to 21 hours depending upon your geographical location. Maintaining your nutritive requirement can become a challenge for people who observe fasts for longer durations i.e. more than 12 to 15 hours. You might think that not eating anything for more than half the day will destroy your physique, however what actually affects you is not fasting but the mistakes that you make during Ramadan:
Not Working Out At All: It is not like you cannot work out in Ramadan. You just have to plan things a little. Modify your work out plan but under any scenario do not stop working out.
Not following diet: The health benefits of Ramadan are overpowered by the urge to over eat. People tend to consume a lot of fat during Ramadan. Your muscle strength won’t be affected much by not lifting weights however; the fat and sugar intake can definitely make you lose muscle tone.
Not Sleeping: Ramadan definitely affects the biological cycle that your body has been following. It therefore, affects your sleeping pattern. If you do not sleep enough, your body will definitely not be at its functional best at the gym.
Keeping these as basics in mind, here are the few modifications that you can do to adjust your workout and diet plan in Ramadan:
- Work out time:
You will have to deviate from your usual plan a little during this month to ensure that your body is at its optimum level. The ground rule is that DO NOT WORK OUT WHILE FASTING. When you have fasted for 8 to 10 hours, your body has already used its water and carbs reserves and therefore you won’t have enough to process at the gym. A dehydrated body is more prone to injuries and your strength will lower down significantly. You can do two things, either work out within 3 to 4 hours of the early morning meal (Suhoor or Sehri) or workout a few hours after breaking the fast (Iftaari). This will ensure that your body is loaded with fluids and nutrients while working out. Working out after iftaari will also ensure that you are able to have your during and after work out shakes.
- Work out Intensity:
Working out at your functional best and working out after 8 to 10 hours of fast is definitely not the same. If you really wish to hit the gym during the fasting period then at least make sure that your work out plans are lesser intense. Bring down your maximum weights by a few kilos or reduce the number of sets or repetitions in each set.
- Protein and Carbs:
If you are into muscle gaining, then regular protein intake is of immense importance. However, in Ramadan you cannot have it at regular intervals as you are fasting for 15 to 18 hours at a stretch. What you can do is try to have your proteins in the morning (Sehri) and after breaking the fast. Including proteins in your meals will ensure that your body meets most of its protein requirements if not all. Instead of powder, have protein rich food as that will stay in your system for longer duration. If you prefer working out in the early morning hours, then have a good amount of water and some carbs as well in the morning meal.
You need to fulfill your body’s water requirements. Try to have a good amount of water during your morning meal and after breaking the fast. Have as much water as you can so that in the fasting period your body is sufficiently hydrated. This is one of the reasons that working out during the fasting hours should be avoided.
- Control your diet:
It is not unusual for people to put on weight during Ramadan. The reason being they tend to consume more calories than what they have burnt during the day. Control your diet. Take more of fibers, fluids, greens and proteins. Do not rely on fats and carbs for satiety.
If you can make these minor modifications in your exiting regimen for the month of Ramadan, then we are sure you will be able to work out effectively. The focus in this month should not be on muscle gain but on muscle maintenance. If you are able to follow these simple advices, then your physique will be in good shape.